105 Hydro brakes Disappointing

Is it just me or are 105 hydro brakes not really upto much? I’m certainly not impressed with mine, especially when compared to my other bike with what I believe are the lower end sram apex hydros, which are twice as powerful, don’t ever squeal, done twice the mileage, seen all weathers and have had no maintenance at all.. By contrast my pampered 105 system has seen no bad weather, been fully bled, had new ceramic pads and ultegra rotors fitted and they still feel like cane operated single piston brakes.. I’m thinking of selling it because of this inferior characteristic..it makes me think that shimano groupsets are all marketing bluster… Any thoughts anyone?


  • Never had any issues with any grouoset disc brakes .With Shimano I do tend to stick to their resin pads with wings as others would tend to be noisy and they look better
  • thistle_
    thistle_ Posts: 7,217
    One of mine is a BR505 (the other is BR785 with a 105 lever). I've had the bike for 4 years now and both have been great.

    I ditched the stock finned pads (which were good) as soon as they wore out and just went with the cheaper non finned aftermarket resin/race matrix compound and it's been great.

  • My three Shimano brakes (105, pre-ultegra DI2, GRX) have been much better than the previous Sram Rival set I had. I constantly had to take it apart to re-grease the master pistons and it was a pain in the arse.
  • photonic69
    photonic69 Posts: 2,621
    I have BR505 on my commuter. They are OK-ish. They don't set the world on fire and require more attention than a prissy little girl. Continually get one piston sticking more than the other on the front. Very sensitive to pad type. Used to use sintered but found they were noisy and really wore the disk out fast, especially as during lockdown I couldn't get hold of Shimano so went with Gorilla pads that were more suited to removing metal turning in a lathe than use as a brake pad. Now back on Shimano Resin and they are much quieter. Lever feel has never been great. Been bled a few times. Lever held to bar with straps overnight etc etc. Always a bit spongy but they still stop me.

    Sometimes. Maybe. Possibly.

  • 5.5 year old BR505s on my Cube, all good, simply needed new pads approx every ~12 months. Not done Shimano official finned since pandemic due to lack of stock and silly prices, but I will be grabbing a set or two of https://www.merlincycles.com/shimano-l05a-rf-disc-brake-pads-with-cooling-fins-resin-268021.html with impending order.
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • lesfirth
    lesfirth Posts: 1,382
    I had BR505s on a Wilier ,worked great , Front pad change the only attention in 4 years. Now on Spec Roubaix with Ultegra and I cant tell any difference.Work great no problem.
  • CRC are doing Black Friday 105 Hydro groupset for £500 or rim for £300...I opted for the rim because my Vitus came with TRP dual piston Spyres which are as strong as I need on 28mm wide baldy tyres!